So for the past two weeks (and it will be a full three weeks by the time I get back), I have been living a new kind of normal.
It is different in a lot of ways.
The biggest difference is simply how alone I am so much of time. I go down to visit my mother and father and see my sister and occasionally friends and the man that keeps cattle here, but for the most part I am living very much isolated from everyone. It does not seem that way of course: with online meetings during the day and the InterWeb available, it hardly seems like I am alone at all. Yet realistically I am alone in a way I have not been since perhaps 2009, when I moved ahead of everyone else to New Home (and even then, I was going in to the office).
Much of the day - or as much as it as I can manage - is spent with as little use of electricity and utilities as possible. I heat with the woodstove during the day and eschew the gas furnace (it is set at a level to avoid freezing, but it has not yet engaged). Mornings and evenings are spent by the light of the fire and a single lamp.
One surprising thing to me is how little free time I seem to have - yes, I am working, but I had anticipated I would have more time to do things like catch up on reading. That happens a lot less than I expected - with driving to see one parent or the other, practicing Iai, working out alternate days, blogging, catching up on the blog roll, and taking a walk, my days seem completely full (it appears to accomplish more, I would need to "work" less).
Meals are simple affairs, mostly put in place to ensure I get fed nutritious food in a short a time as I can manage. As a result, there is not a lot of cooking involved - microwaving chicken or a turkey patty is the extent of it (if not meeting someone for dinner).
If you were to ask me if this was different from what I had expected, I would be forced to tell you yes. And no. Yes in that the time elements (or lack there of) surprise me; no in that I am perfectly happy with what has come to be very limited human contact.
It is not a bad life. And certainly a life which, if I had my druthers, I could very easily adapt to.